The Miami Heat fall to 1-4 on the season with a 109-104 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. They’ll stay in South Florida for the next two games, featuring the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers.
Here’s a few key takeaways from the Heat’s loss:
Shameful first half from both teams
Both the Heat and the Nets were falling flat in the first half. They had trouble finding the bottom of the net on multiple occasions and shared numerous head-scratching turnovers. Despite that, Miami entered the locker room at the half with a 56-46 lead.
The Heat were lifted in the second quarter with 10 points from Tyler Herro and solid minutes from Thomas Bryant. They shot 46.5% in the first half, struggling to get shots in the air. Miami was trapped countless times at the elbow, leading to 12 first-half turnovers. The best story that came from the first 24 minutes was the Heat holding Brooklyn to 38% from the field while forcing 10 key turnovers.
“We were in control, we had the lead, and we let it slip again. We’ll watch the film tomorrow, we’ll continue to get better. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” said Herro, who finished with 30 points. “At some point this has to matter to us.”
Collapse in the second half
When you’re watching the Miami Heat, there’s a high chance the game is going down to the wire and it will be decided in the late fourth quarter. The Heat were up by as many as 16 in the first quarter and 15 in the second half, but a collapse bit them in the late stages.
“We certainly have to sustain, we have to find a way to sustain more consistently and better, and that’s what we’ll focus on,” said head coach Erik Spoelstra on the blown lead.
It’s very early in the season, but if the Heat plan on pushing this until June, the number of clutch games could be an issue for injuries and rest. Miami needs time to develop their lineup rather than having the starters in for the majority of the matchup, and right now that’s been difficult with the film they’ve displayed.
Heat hold off Cam Thomas
A positive note on the defensive end for Miami came from sustaining one of the NBA’s early leading scorers, Cam Thomas. Thomas had recorded three straight games with over 30 points, but Spoelstra and the Heat’s staff brought the locksmith against the witty hooper.
Thomas ended the night with 13 points on 4-of-19 shooting. He began the contest shooting 1-10 from the field, having immense trouble with Spoelstra’s plan to trap him when he entered the 15-foot range.
Haywood Highsmith makes season debut
It wasn’t much of a splashy game in terms of the stat line for Haywood Highsmith, but he clearly showed signs of improvement from last season. Highsmith was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc to start the game, notching nine points, four rebounds, and two assists in total.
He was a more confident, fluid player than he’s ever displayed and he should be one of the Heat’s main chess pieces in the long run this season. Highsmith made great plays, he was unselfish and he knew when to shoot the ball, rather than dish it out. His basketball IQ has taken a step up, and more importantly, his comfortability with the NBA game has drastically boosted.